Manchester United have reportedly been told they can step up their chase of Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon.

According to The Sun, the Cottagers have begun looking for a replacement for the 17-year-old left-back, after realising they will eventually have to part ways with the teenager.

The West Londoners, who are currently 12th in the Championship, could reportedly be ready to sell the England Under-19 international even in the January transfer window, should they receive a suitable offer.

Sessegnon, who can also play further up the pitch, has scored four times for Fulham this season, including a hat-trick in his side's 5-4 defeat against Sheffield United earlier in the campaign.

The defender has established himself as a key part of Fulham's starting line-up since making his debut for his boyhood club last season aged just 16 and his mature performances at both left-back and left-wing have predictably drawn interest from Premier League sides.

United and Tottenham Hotspur have all been heavily linked with the England youth international. Last month, it emerged the latter would make Sessegnon their number one target to replace Danny Rose, should the left-back moved to Old Trafford either next month or in the summer.

Tottenham reportedly had a £25m bid for the versatile left-back turned down in the summer, and Fulham are likely to command a much bigger fee for their academy graduate, who does not seem overly willing to push for a move away from west London and whose contract does not include a release clause.

United, for their part, are still looking to solve their left-back conundrum. The position has been a source of problems for Mourinho since he arrived at Old Trafford at the beginning of last season, with the Portuguese coach having deployed Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young in the role over the last 18 months.

The latter, who scored two brilliant goals as United won 4-2 at Watford two weeks, appears to have found a new lease of life in the role and has started every league game since returning from an injury in the middle of September.

However, Mourinho is still looking for a long-term replacement for the 32-year-old and has reportedly identified Tottenham's left-back Rose as the ideal candidate, although United would have to pay around £50m for the 27-year-old.